5 Easy Steps to Improve Health and Safety Culture
It is widely accepted that a Health & Safety(H&S) program, in any organization, plays an instrumental role in reducing workplace accidents. The workers’ compensation (WCB) claims and time loss from work that result from at-work incidents can have a significant impact on a business’s financial picture, specifically during these times of economic uncertainty.
As companies face cutbacks in productivity and staff, try to do more with less and continually work to remain solvent, having a sound up-to-date H&S program in place becomes even more important. Whether you need to establish a H&S program or you just want to update your current system to meet today’s needs, here are 5 tips to improve the H&S culture in your workplace:
- It Starts at the Top: The first, and most essential step to a successful H&S plan is commitment from Management. Without the approval, support and reinforcement from the management level, respect, adherence and acceptance of H&S policies and procedures at other levels will fail. Executives and management of any organization need to lead by example if they expect staff to follow suit.
- Engage Your Employees: Encourage your workers to participate in the development of H&S practices, not only at their workstation but throughout the workplace. Employee engagement in the process promotes investment in the outcome. Incidents and accidents are costly, time consuming, place undue stress on co-workers and can affect employee morale. It is in everyone’s best interest to avoid work-related injuries and illness.
- Don’t Rely on ‘Common Sense’: The definition of ‘common sense’ often differs from person to person and can result in unnecessary, unproductive arguments and conflict. Establish a H&S Committee, ideally with voluntary involvement from every level of your organization, to create standardized policies and procedures, regardless of how much it seems like common sense.
- See Something, Say Something: Awareness and prevention are your best defence against unforeseen events. Create a positive atmosphere for employees to feel free to speak up, without repercussion, about unsafe working conditions, potential hazards and constructive suggestions to improve the work environment. Encourage reporting of ‘near miss’ incidents to help identify areas that need addressing.
- Follow up is Key: Appoint a designated person to follow up on any corrective actions recommended as a result of incident investigations and continue to follow up until the issue is resolved or the risk is reduced to the minimum level. Taking the time to dig deeper to find the root cause of a problem, then making sure any and all measures are taken to address the problem appropriately, is the easiest way to prevent making the same mistake twice.
Establishing and implementing H&S programs can be daunting and navigating workers’ compensation systems can seem insurmountable. Therefore, it is important to remember that supervisors, managers, members of H&S committees or even H&S coordinators are not experts in every area of health and safety or workers’ compensation. Asking for assistance from external resources can help address issues, solve problems, answer questions or establish a H&S program suited to your organization. They can provide an objective analysis of the health and safety culture of your workplace and offer constructive suggestions for improvement .
If you would like additional details or information on health and safety programs or assistance with any matters regarding the WCB, you can contact us directly at [email protected], [email protected], by phone, at 1-844-377-9545 or you can connect with us on Facebook , Twitter , or LinkedIn.